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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Paul Thirlwell wants fans to roar on Carlisle Utd at Brunton Park

Carlisle United captain Paul Thirlwell today issued a personal appeal to urge fans to turn out for festive home games and roar them to victory.

Paul Thirlwell photo
Paul Thirlwell

The inspirational dressing-room leader’s heartfelt Christmas message comes ahead of back-to-back Brunton Park clashes against Hartlepool on Boxing Day and Bury next Saturday – crunch basement battles that could turn the Blues’ season around.

Thirlwell hopes supporters, including many Blues fans returning home for the holidays, will generate a cracking atmosphere to help spur on the team, as well as provide a welcome windfall for the cash-strapped club.

The Cumbrians have lost nine league and cup games at home this season – a dismal record which has led to dwindling crowds and a slump towards the relegation zone.

“Unfortunately we have found ourselves at the wrong end of the table in a precarious position but it is at times like this that we need the club to be together from top to bottom,” said Thirwell.

“We need a united effort from the board to the smallest toddlers who are our youngest fans, especially over Christmas when we have games that are massive to us. Whenever we have had a good crowd, it has really inspired us. I can’t remember a poor display in front of a good crowd at Brunton Park.

“Any player will tell you that it gets the adrenaline pumping and gets you fired up. Spurs ran out worthy winners when we played them in the League Cup but for 30-40 minutes we gave a Premier League team as good as we got with great backing from fans.

“We understand that finances for tough for people, especially with Christmas expenditure but people will be coming back to Cumbria from various parts of the country, and it would be great if they came along.

“The club is trying as hard as possible to make it affordable for fans and it is up to us to put on a performance on the pitch. We can all work together to improve things.

“More money coming in will help the manager as he will have more to spend in January.

“It is easy to get behind the team when it is flying, but it’s when you’re struggling that you need fans the most.”

Carlisle kick off their festive programme tomorrow at Scunthorpe – the second of four successive games against sides in the drop zone.

A defeat for Carlisle could see the Cumbrians sucked into the relegation places for the first time this season and enable Scunthorpe to climb out of the danger area.

Blues boss Greg Abbott revealed his despondent players sat with heads in hands in the aftermath of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Shrewsbury as they couldn’t believe they hadn’t won after laying siege on the home goal.

Thirlwell has always maintained there is enough quality within the squad – boosted by the return of talisman Lee Miller after a four-month injury lay-off – to turn their fortunes around.

He said: “We are still optimistic. We have played games where we haven’t deserved to win but on Saturday we did more than enough to win. It would have been disappointing coming away with a point never mind losing. Christmas is a vital time with a lot of games over a short period and we are all determined to put things right.

“We need to get ourselves out of this and the fixtures we have lends itself to that happening.”

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